To lose weight, one must eat one serving of peas, beans, chickpeas or lentils, says a study published on March 30 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Apparently, eating about 130 grammes or ¾ cup of each of these foods or pulses reduces weight by up to 0.34 kilogrammes.

The new study supports previous Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre’s research that claimed a daily serving of these food items make one feel fuller by up to 31 percent than if they are on a weight-loss diet, resulting in less food intake. These pulses have a low glycaemic index. In other words, they break down slowly and are well capable of lowering or displacing bad cholesterol and animal protein.

The researchers analysed 21 clinical trials that recruited 940 adult men and women. They found that these people lost up to 0.34 kg with an additional diet of one serving of pulses and even without limiting other food intake.

One serving of peas, beans, chickpeas or lentils helps one lose weight. Photo from Pixabay/condesign

One serving of peas, beans, chickpeas or lentils helps one lose weight. Photo from Pixabay/condesign

“Though the weight loss was small, our findings suggest that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight, and we think more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it,” adds lead author Russell de Souza, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital.

Another analysis concluded that one serving of peas, beans, chickpeas or lentils daily reduces bad cholesterol up to five percent, lowering the cardiovascular disease risk.

The researchers admit that many still do not eat these foods in spite of the positive effects they have on one’s health. In fact, the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization even declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. Nevertheless, many still refuse to follow the diet.

“Despite their known health benefits, only 13 per cent of Canadians eat pulses on any given day and most do not eat the full serving,” says de Souza. “So there is room for most of us to incorporate dietary pulses in our diet and realize potential weight management benefits.”

The researchers point out that 90 percent of weight loss strategies fail may be because of hunger and food cravings. However, knowing which food items can make one feel fuller for longer will help weight loss and maintain it and these pulses are capable of doing the job.